When we started hearing rumors that YouTube would begin offering a new service tier that replaced ads with a monthly subscription fee, I was pretty skeptical. Most YouTube ads are pretty innocuous (skip after 4 seconds or just close the ad) and generally I think of YouTube as a place you go when you have a couple of minutes to kill rather than a destination. Maybe that's my old age talking though.
In any event, yesterday Google finally announced the service and I've completely changed my mind. It is, in fact, a pretty good value in my opinion.
YouTube Red, as it is called, costs $10/month but it offers a lot for that money. First, of course, is ad-free YouTube video, plus the ability to save content locally for offline playback. The subscription covers standard YouTube, YouTube Gaming and YouTube Kids. Google has also promised original content coming to YouTube Red which you can read about here. Honestly none of the listed titles excite me all that much but again, old guy. I'm sure that PewDiePie's gazillion subscribers will be excited about "Scare PewDiePie."
But what makes this a good value is that a YouTube Red subscription also includes Google Play Music, which by itself is normally $10/month, and which is in my opinion a very solid subscription music streaming service. It's my service of choice and the only one I'm currently paying for. YouTube Red also includes access to a new YouTube Music app that is coming soon, and which is built on the foundations of YouTube Music Key, which seems to be closing/morphing into YouTube Music.
At least from my point of view, YouTube Red just feels like a free add-on to Google Play Music, which is already worth $10/month to me. I suppose if you're a dedicated Spotify Premium (feel free to insert your favorite subscription-based music service) fan then it might not be worth $10 just to scrap the ads from YouTube videos; at that point I'd wait to see how YouTube's original content turns out.
In September Google announced a "family plan" for Google Play Music that offers 6 profiles for $15/month, but it hasn't gone live yet. Hopefully there'll be a similar YouTube Red plan when the Music family plan finally goes live.
As for me, I'm signing up for YouTube Red on day one and why not? I'm not going to be spending any more than I'm already spending. There's really no reason for me not to subscribe.
You can learn more about YouTube Red on the Official YouTube Blog.